SPOKANE, Wash. -The Spokane Fire Department responded to the River Park Square Mall on a report of a fire on the third floor just after 1 a.m. Tuesday.
Crews found smoke in the food court area and found a small fire in a plastic bucket that was full of rags in the kitchen area of the restaurant Classic Burger. Fortunately the fire did not spread and was contained to the bucket of cloths.
Investigators with the Spokane Fire Department Special Investigation Unit says kitchen rags recently laundered served as the cause for the fire. The towels (used to wipe out the restaurant’s fryers) were washed, dried and then tightly stored in a bucket which caused a chemical reaction and for the towels to ignite without an external heat source.
“This could happen to anyone and happens more often than you think,” says Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer. “These types of fires often occur after items with remnants of oil or cleaning solvents are cleaned and removed from dryers and placed in containers or piled on tables or in closets.”
Fire damage was limited to a five-gallon plastic bucket and the rags within it along with minimal smoke damage to the restaurant establishment and surrounding food court area.